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Trade Secrets can only be protected when reasonable steps have been taken

13/03/2019

Did you know that ALL companies have TRADE SECRETS

but ONLY VERY FEW have taken measures to protect them against misappropriation ?

Although the topic of trade secrets protection has been on the EU institutions agenda for a long time, it has taken until 2016 to have a legal framework. The ever increasing globalization, the increased mobility of employees and the raise in cybercrime have led us to a point where action was needed.

On 8 June 2016 a new Directive (No. 2016/943) relating to the protection of undisclosed knowhow and business information came into force. EU Member States were granted a period until 2 June 2018 to transpose the Directive into national legislation.

Under the Directive a Trade Secret is any information existing within a company which :

(i)                  is secret

(ii)                has commercial value for the company,  and

(iii)               has been subject to reasonable steps to keep it a secret

For the third condition, pro-active measures should be taken, as A trade secret is not automatically protected by the fact it is kept secret.

A trade secret can only be enforced against third parties when these 3 conditions are fully met.

Given the very wide definition of a trade secret, which can entail technical, commercial, financial and other information (e.g. a recipe, a trial-and-error process for the development of a new product, a client list, a technical creation before it is apt for patent protection), almost all companies possess (mostly unknowingly) valuable knowhow and/or business information in their company.

However, given the lack of structured approach as to identification, protection and management within many companies this is all up for grabs to competitors.

 

DO NOT FEAR! ACT NOW!

GEVERS can be your partner, as we have a highly educated technical, legal and administrative team who has been preparing for the coming into force of the Directive for years now.

How can GEVERS help you?

Our first step is to educate and sensitize you about trade secrets as part of a full scale IP approach within your company.

During the second step a team dedicated to you will give in-depth trainings and have deep-dive meetings with key personnel in various departments within a company, in order to perform a trade secret mining exercise.

In a third step the mining exercise will result in the dedicated team providing you with an audit report containing information on the knowhow and/or business information found, the steps to be taken to meet the protection requirements and a suggested list of actions and priorities.

These actions may include: improving existing or drafting new contracts or contract clauses, enhancing the level of security to certain information, structuring information contained by a specific trade secret, etc.

In a fourth step the proposed actions and priorities will be put in a plan of action which will then be implemented.

Finally, GEVERS offers you the use of specifically designed tools:  A Trade Secret Management Tool allowing to collect and structure information relating to trade secrets enabling you keep an overview of your trade secrets and developing a long term trade secrets strategy within your company. And a dedicated Trade Secret Portfolio, for detailed recording of every single Trade Secret

Last but not least, do not forget that receipt of confidential information from a 3rd party implies a responsibility, and should thus be handled with the same care as your own Trade Secrets

In a nutshell, as GEVERS has developed substantial legal expertise on the European Directive and the nationally implemented laws across the EU Member States it is the perfect partner for you. In addition, we have all required technical, legal and administrative expertise , which allows us to provide you with a tailor-made service helping you to understand:

- what a trade secret is,

- the importance of trade secrets and a trade secret policy and strategy for your company, and

- the importance of a good and structured approach for enforceability of trade secrets.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

- READ MORE OR VISIT OUR NEWEST WEBSITE

- WATCH OUR VIDEO AS BROADCASTED ON KANAAL-Z ON 15 MARCH 2019 

- SUBSCRIBE TO OUR SEMINAR BY E-MAILING YOUR PREFERRED OFFICE OF THE GEVERS GROUP

- SCHEDULE A TRADE SECRET MINING EXERCISE WITH OUR DEDICATED TEAM

 

OUR DEDICATED TEAM:

Belgium: Jean-Jacques Canonici (Senior Patent Attorney), Katia De Clercq (Senior Trademark and Design Attorney), Noshin Malik (Senior Patent and Trademark and Design Paralegal) and Sarah Luyssaert (Senior Patent Paralegal)

France: Ingrid Corviole-Parent and Anne-Laure Bedaux

We are just one e-mail away: tradesecret@gevers.eu

 

 

tradesecret@gevers.eu

 

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